Defence says there was consent in sex assault trial

Defence says there was consent in sex assault trial

Trevor Crawley

A night of drinking at a local bar culminated in consensual intercourse between a woman and a man accused of sexual assault, argued a defence lawyer in Cranbrook Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Matthew Allan Buxton is on trial facing charges including sexual assault for an incident alleged to have occurred in the early morning of Oct. 8, 2016 in Cranbrook at his home.

The trial is being presided by Justice Anthony Saunders and a jury of seven men and five women.

Buxton’s lawyer, Bobby Movassaghi, said the sexual intercourse between the two was consensual. He argued that the woman didn’t report the sexual assault until she was interviewed by the police in front of her common-law husband and needed an excuse for her alleged infidelity.

“When she got home just after 5 a.m., she had to tell her husband, her partner, something,” Movassaghi said. “And what better thing to do, what better statement to give your husband than to play the victim and say you were sexually assaulted when the fact of the matter was you stayed out that night and shacked up with another guy.

“And instead of coming out and telling the truth, she told her husband she was raped.”

The alleged sexual assault occurred after Buxton and the woman, along with a few friends, were drinking at a local pub. Movassaghi said Buxton, the woman — whose identity is protected by a publication ban — and two friends returned to Buxton’s home to continue partying.

The two friends left around 3:45 a.m. before the alleged assault occurred.

Movassaghi cast doubt on the credibility of Buxton’s roommate, who was certain Buxton arrived at 12:38 a.m after coming home from the bar, when it was actually roughly two hours later in the morning that the group arrived.

“He [roommate] is simply incapable of telling time,” Movassaghi said. “He says he looked at his cell phone clock and it said 12:30 a.m. We know that could not have been the case.”

According to the RCMP testimony, police arrived at roughly 4:45 a.m. after being called by the roommate, who testified he heard a loud bang against the wall and yelling from Buxton’s room.

Movassaghi also questioned the reliability of the woman’s testimony, who said she blacked out and can’t remember much of what happened that evening.

“When someone says they black out, it’s also a convenient escape,” said Movassaghi, “because then they don’t have to say what actually happened and what actually happened is [alleged victim] went to Mr. Buxton’s residence, took herself into Mr. Buxton’s room and ultimately had sex with him.”

Buxton was also charged with attempting to choke to overcome resistance and uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm. However, due to a legal matter, if the jury finds Buxton guilty of attempting to choke to overcome resistance, the conviction will be for common assault.

Justice Saunders is expected to give final instructions to the jury on Tuesday afternoon before adjourning to deliberate.